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June 2024

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Let NM Veterans Upward Bound Serve You!

By Kelly Fitzpatrick, New Mexico Veterans Upward Bound

New Mexico Veterans Upward Bound recently received their Grant Award Notification from the Department of Education. They will continue to provide Northern New Mexico veterans with valuable services and resources for the next five years! We are excited, not just to continue our work that we began in 2012, but we will now expand our service area to eight Northern New Mexico counties, including McKinley, Sandoval, and San Juan counties.

We are also hiring a new Education Site Coordinator for the Albuquerque area. They will be working with veterans throughout Sandoval and Bernalillo counties and maintain a presence at UNM Main campus, New Mexico Highlands University, and Central New Mexico Community College (CNM).

This is an incredible opportunity to support our fellow veterans at San Juan College in Farmington, UNM Gallup, as well as all eligible veterans in McKinley, San Juan, and Sandoval counties.

Why do we do what we do? Our NMVUB Team is comprised of military service veterans who’ve been exactly where you are. We made a choice to improve our situations and did what was required to complete a college degree or certification; now we want to give back! We’ve been there, done that, and we want other veterans to benefit from our experience.

Are you ready for a career change, considering enrolling in college, university, or a technical or vocational certification program? We are here to support you by preparing you for taking that leap. Our program offers academic refresher courses in Math, Reading and Writing Skills, Basic Computer Skills, Financial Planning, Resume Writing, and so much more! All NMVUB services are free to our program participants and do not affect VA or NM State Educational benefits. We offer support in completing VA benefit forms, exploring educational funding, offer bridge scholarships, preparation for interviews, and provide free Math tutoring services. We also cultivate and maintain relationships with our partner schools and other statewide veteran service agencies and organizations. If we don’t have the answer, we know who to ask to get the answers for you. You’ve given so much of yourselves to protect the safety and freedom of your fellow U.S. citizens. Allow us to give something back. unmvub@unm.edu or (855) 357-3725. We hope to hear from you soon.

Military service veterans are a special breed of people given to service. This was found online and the author is unknown. This may be eye-opening for some and familiar to those of us who served this country.

For ALL my non-military FRIENDS out there, this may or may not help you understand those of us that served in the Military.

We Are Veterans.
We left home as teenagers for an unknown adventure.
We loved our country enough to defend it and protect it with our own lives.
We said goodbye to friends and family and everything we knew.
We learned the basics and then we scattered in the wind to the far corners of the Earth.
We found new friends and new family.
We became brothers and sisters regardless of color, race, or creed.
We had plenty of good times, and plenty of bad times.
We didn’t get enough sleep.
We smoked and drank too much.
We picked up both good and bad habits.
We worked hard and played harder.
We didn’t earn a great wage.
We experienced the happiness of mail call and the sadness of missing important events.
We didn’t know when, or even if, we were ever going to see home again.
We grew up fast, and yet somehow, we never grew up at all.
We fought for our freedom, as well as the freedom of others.
Some of us saw actual combat, and some of us did not.
Some of us saw the world, and some of us did not.
Some of us dealt with physical warfare, most of us dealt with psychological warfare.
We have seen and experienced and dealt with things that we can’t fully describe or explain, as not all of our sacrifices were physical.
We participated in time-honored ceremonies and rituals with each other, strengthening our bonds and camaraderie.
We counted on each other to get our job done, and sometimes to survive it at all.
We have dealt with victory and tragedy.
We have celebrated and mourned.
We lost a few along the way.
When our adventure was over, some of us went back home, some of us started somewhere new and some of us never came home at all.
We have told amazing and hilarious stories of our exploits and adventures.
We share an unspoken bond with each other that most people don’t experience, and few will understand.
We speak highly of our own branch of service, and poke fun at the other branches.
We know however, that, if needed, we will be there for our brothers and sisters and stand together as one, in a heartbeat.
Being a veteran is something that had to be earned, and it can never be taken away.
It has no monetary value, but at the same time it is a priceless gift.
People see a veteran and they thank them for their service.
When we see each other, we give that little upwards head nod, or a slight smile, knowing that we have shared and experienced things that most people have not.
So, from myself to the rest of the veterans out there, I commend and thank you for all that you have done and sacrificed for your country.
Try to remember the good times and forget the bad times.